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by Guy Newell Boothby
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"You can give me no explanation, then?" said Nikola, with one of his inscrutable smiles. "And yet, having accumulated this power, this knowledge, call it what you will, you would still bid me give up Science. Come, my friend, you have seen something of what it can do; would you be brave enough to try, with my help, to look into what is called The Great Unknown, and see what the future has in store for you? I fancy it could be done. Are you to be tempted to see your own end?" "No, no," I cried, "I will have nothing to do with such an unholy thing. Good heavens, man! from that moment life would be unendurable!" "You think so, do you?" he said slowly, still keeping his eyes fixed on me. "And yet I have tried it myself." * Boothby's Nikola may be the world's first modern super villain: he is a master of hypnotism and mind control, a telepathic adept, and an astral projectionist. He can cause ordinary men to see images in pools of liquid, and prophesy into the future. It's said that he knows the hour, moment, and method of his own demise. (Jacketless library hardcover.)
At first I came to the conclusion that it must be a bat, or some night bird, but that theory exploded. Bats do not remain at the same exact distance from the floor, nor do they stand stationary behind a man's chair for any length of time. The hour will come, however, when it will be possible for us to see these things; I am on the track even now."
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